Menstrual Hygiene Day

Growing up in India, entering the glowing teenage years was a whirlwind of unknown mood swings, chameleon-like hormones, and the mysterious rituals adults followed during "those days." The shushed conversations, the rules of not entering the kitchen or touching pickles, and being given solitary time—these were confusing yet oddly comforting moments of sukoon (ease).

I remember when I got my first period in school. Unaware of what it was, I was embarrassed and confused. In India, menstruation is a taboo topic, often wrapped in a newspaper or hidden in a black polythene bag, with no formal education to demystify it. That day, I was too scared to get up from my seat for four hours, despite the killing cramps. Communicating with a teacher about my situation was unthinkable somehow.

As the school day ended and the last bell rang, I remained seated until the entire school was empty. Summoning the courage to leave, I reversed my stained skirt to the front and covered it with my bag, finally stepping out with a mix of relief and anxiety. This experience, though isolating and painful, was a defining moment of my teenage years, highlighting the pressing need for open conversations and education about menstruation.

Well, the story I shared is one of strength and resilience, shaping me into someone capable of spreading education and awareness to break this hideous taboo. On Menstrual Hygiene Day 2024, we held an awareness session with the incredible women who handcraft our up-cycled products. 

To our surprise, it turned into a highly engaging discussion. We started by explaining the importance of menstrual hygiene and introduced different sustainable options, including how to maintain them. We emphasized the need for parents to be open with their children—boys and girls alike—about menstruation. Monitoring monthly period patterns and consulting a gynecologist for any discomfort were also key points.


Currently, we provide monthly aid of sanitary napkins, but we aim to switch to reusable, eco-friendly pads. If you're interested in sponsoring this initiative, please reach out to us—we would be immensely grateful!

During our session, Muthulakshmi Akka shared her experience with a smile.

"I have two teenage boys," she began. "I've explained the monthly cycle to them, and they're very understanding. They know how to take care of me during those days and even handle my mood swings."

Shivagmy Akka chimed in with her own story.

"My daughters often share little bits about menstruation that they learn in school," she said. "But today, after this session, I'm going to educate them more about how important it is to maintain hygiene and observe the changes in their bodies."

She added with determination, "It's crucial for them to understand their bodies better and feel comfortable discussing these topics openly."

Her commitment to furthering her daughters' education on menstrual health was inspiring and underscored the session's impact on fostering awareness and open dialogue.

Written by Ritika Sadana, our STS Centre Manager

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